Loving Our Neighbor and Changing the World (Magnificent Monday!)

Happy Monday, everyone!  

Waking up on a Monday can be challenging, especially in light of the tragic news we see everywhere.  Prayer is definitely an appropriate response when we see horrors like the one in Las Vegas and devastation like we've seen in Puerto Rico.  God cares about our broken hearts!

Another imperative response to a divisive world is loving our neighbor.  Jesus was smart!  The things He commanded and demonstrated in scripture weren't just random actions meant to meet a standard.  They're strategies, meant to change the world and show The Creator's glory.

In the NFL, the news has primarily focused on a hot-button issue that has divided the masses.  I was thankful to hear a story out of Houston last week that was a change of pace.  Deshaun Watson sure put a beating on the Titans yesterday, but more importantly he demonstrated what it truly means to "love your neighbor" in a generous act last week.

Watson donated his first ever game check to three Houston stadium workers who were affected by Hurricane Harvey.  The total amount was nearly $27,000!  It would be easy for any NFL player to give a few hundred dollars and just be on their merry way, but to give an entire game check is HUGE.....especially when you're a rookie!

This is the type of act that changes lives!

How do we know?

Well, just look at Deshaun Watson.  Why would a rookie do such a kind act?  When Watson was just 11 years old, an NFLer named Warrick Dunn, helped donate a house to Watson's family through Habitat for Humanity.  Watson was the recipient of love.  Now as an adult, he is replicating that very kindness.

Jesus knew this strategy was legit!  That's why He taught it! 

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  
Matthew 22:37-39

Obviously, loving God is imperative!  It is our love for God which gives the act of loving our neighbor so much power.  It is God that changes hearts!

That's why when we read tragic stories, the appropriate response isn't to give up, argue, or engage in senseless social media banter.  The appropriate response is to pray, and it is to truly GO OUT AND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR.  That is what is going to change the world.  I have a feeling that if Jesus literally walked among us today, that He wouldn't be arguing from behind a cell phone or computer.  He'd be demonstrating truth by loving the people around Him in very passionate and intentional ways.